April Real Estate News

The news this month is all about the Brevard/Pisgah Forest market and the current “buying” season. One of the indicators that we consider when we talk about how the market is doing is how long it takes for homes to sell. You’ll see that number indicated in listings as CDOM (cumulative days on market). The contrast between this year and last year is startling.  In the Brevard/Pisgah Forest area last April, the average days on market was 386.  April this year, that number dropped dramatically to 170.  We are seeing the most activity in that ever-popular price range $150,000 to $250,000 price range. It’s back to being a seller’s market in that price point with multiple offers and very few days on market.  There were 36 residential properties sold in Transylvania County last month and 25 of them were under $250,000.

In April 2015 homes were selling for 95.2% of the list price. This year, that number is down slightly to 93.5%.

Land sales held stable from the previous month but are still lagging behind over last year.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Brevard, North Carolina area, give us a call at 828-551-6291 or 828-551-6290.

The Mountain Waterfall

IMG_1263_peIt’s a perfect spring day in the mountains. The path beneath your feet winds through the native laurels, past ancient rock outcroppings, and century old hardwoods. There is no sound except the birds, the breeze that rustles the leaves, and the rushing waterfall that lies just ahead. It’s not hard to imagine what this place must have been like 100 years ago because here….time stood still.
 
You take with you a picnic lunch to share. A favorite book. A sketch pad. A four legged friend who wastes no time splashing in the cool mountain water. And at day’s end, you follow that path back to your mountain home where you rest well…knowing there is no place you’d rather be.

You aren’t dreaming….this property exists here in Brevard, North Carolina.  The home and guest cottage are situated on 21 acres of mountain privacy with hiking trails and waterfalls that are only 15 minutes to town…or to some of the best fly fishing rivers in the southeast.

This is the kind of place where you heart beats a little slower and long range views call for you to sit awhile…to enjoy the sights and sounds of this beautiful mountain setting.
To learn more, visit us at MountainWaterfall.com or call us at 828-551-6291 to schedule your personal tour.
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February Market Update

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The year is off to a stable start with residential sales.  February sales were only one more than last year, but land sales actually exceeded this time last year.  In February, 10 homes sold in the under $150,000 range,  7 were sold in the $150,000-$250,000 range, and 9 sold in $250,000-$350,000.  The average days on market is still hovering around 255 days and properties are still selling for roughly 97.5% of the list price.

For a free monthly e-newsletter with more details about the market here in western North Carolina, drop us an email at carol@clayteamrealestate.com.

 

 

Lace up those hiking boots

HighfallsSpring With winter coming to an end, thoughts of getting outside are filling our heads. Native laurels will be in bloom soon and with the day time temperatures hovering comfortably around the 70 degree mark, staying inside just isn’t an option for lots of us.

For hikers and mountain bike enthusiasts this area of western North Carolina is ideal.  DuPont State Forest, Gorges State Forest, and Pisgah National Forest are all right here, filled with hiking and biking trails, stunning views, and waterfalls.  Transylvania County is known as the “Land of Waterfalls” for a good reason. With more than 300 waterfalls dotting the landscape there is no shortage of spectacular sights and hiking trails to get you there.

So how do you start? You could grab a bottle of water and a power bar and head out on your own, but it’s really better (and safer) to plan ahead. It’s important to have the right gear, of course, but it’s also important to understand where you are going and what you can anticipate on your hike.  How long is the hike? How difficult is it? What is the terrain like? These are important questions to ask ahead of time.

To start your planning, I suggest you visit a website created by a friend of mine, Brenda Wiley. I doubt there is a trail she hasn’t hiked in this area and her website is chock full of great information. Another good resource is this website about the top 10 hikes around the Asheville area.

If you have considered relocating or buying a vacation home in Transylvania county or the surrounding area we’d love to hear from you!  Call us at 828-551-6290 or visit us online at www.BrevardNCProperty.com.

Happy hiking!

 

What you need to know about radon.

Once a home is under contract, the inspection process begins.  A typical set of inspections include the home inspection, septic, water, termite,  and radon.  Over the years I have found that most people get a blank look on their face when we start talking about radon.  They’ve never heard of it, they don’t know what it is or where it comes from,  and they don’t understand the health risks. So let’s go over the basics.

Radon Element SymbolRadon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that comes from igneous rock and it is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer.  Radon levels can vary greatly depending on where you live, but in North Carolina we recognize the Surgeon General’s recommendation that a test reading should not exceed 4 pCi/l.  In most cases, if the reading is over 4 pCi/l buyers will go back to the seller to request a mitigation system.  Depending on the size of the home, access to a crawlspace, and other factors, a mitigation system runs about $2,000.  While a reading of 4 pCi/l or less is the accepted level, it’s not uncommon to see readings much higher than that but those readings can be affected by several factors, including the weather.  If a radon test result comes back unusually high, we recommend a second test. The tests are inexpensive and worth your peace of mind.

When a radon test kit is placed in your home, it’s extremely important that windows and doors remain closed during the testing period, which is usually 48-72 hours. If you are living in the home, it’s perfectly fine to come and go as you normally would but leaving windows and doors open will compromise the test results.

Radon mitigation is something any buyer should consider whether you are buying an existing home or building a new one.  In our area most new home builders automatically include one in the building process, but not always, so be sure to ask.

Even if you aren’t in the market to buy or sell a home, it’s a good idea to understand radon and the risks associated with it. There are a number of good resources for in-depth information about radon, but this article from the Transylvania Times here in Brevard, North Carolina sums it up nicely.

(source: Transylvania Times, Brevard, NC)

January is National Radon Action Month and the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) encourages Americans around the country to test their homes for radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Each year about 21,000 Americans die from lung cancer caused by exposure to radon. Testing is the only way to know if your home has an elevated level of radon. The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend taking action to fix your home if the radon level is 4 picocuries per Liter of air or more. “Testing your home for radon is one of the easiest ways to help keep your family safe and healthy,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Radon exposure is preventable. Test kits are inexpensive and readily available. Reducing exposure protects families, saves lives and avoids the health care costs of radon-caused lung cancer. Everyone who takes action helps to make America’s homes and schools safer for future generations.”

Affordable do-it-yourself radon test kits are available online, at many home improvement and hardware stores and are easy to use. You can also hire a qualified radon professional. If your home is found to have a high radon level, a professionally installed radon reduction system, using a vent pipe and exhaust fan, will remove the radon from beneath your home and discharge it outside. These systems are affordable, especially compared to the risk of lung cancer.

Taking action to reduce your exposure to radon is a long-term investment in your health and your home.

A working mitigation system is a positive selling point for homes on the market ; in many areas a radon test is a standard part of real estate transactions. If you’re building a new home, work with your builder to include radon-resistant construction techniques.

Radon reduction strategies are included in the National Radon Action Plan, which was launched in November 2015 by EPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Health and Human Services and nine national non-governmental organizations. This partnership will help coordinate radon reduction efforts and resources with the goal of preventing 3,200 lung cancer deaths annually by 2020, through increased collaboration and consumer awareness strategies.

For more information on testing and obtaining a radon test kit, contact the state radon office at 1-800-SOS-RADON.

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If you are buying or selling a home in western North Carolina, call the Clay Team today at 828-551-6290 or visit us online at BrevardNCProperty.com.

December 2105 Market Update

Welcome to the new year! What are your plans for the next 12 months? If they include buying or selling a home or a parcel of land, we would welcome the opportunity to help. We are actively seeking new sellers to meet the ever-growing buyer demand so if you, or someone you know, has a home they’d like to sell, please pass our name along or let us know and we’ll follow up.

The year 2015 ended on a high note for us, for our firm, and for the market. The market did well in 2015 with residential sales up 15% over 2014.  Land sales are still slow, but that means there are a lot of good deals out there. In fact, if you are thinking about investing in some land, this is the time of year to do it…when the leaves are down and you can see the surrounding area better.

Looking Glass Realty finished the year in the number 2 position for total sales in our Brevard market. Only one other firm sold more than than we did, but our small, seasoned group of brokers had more sales per agent than any of the other firm.  As brokers, the Clay Team took the 6th position out of 109 agents in the Brevard area.
We are excited about 2016 and look forward to helping more sellers get their homes sold….and to helping more buyers find their new home in the mountains.

March Market Update

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Along with blooming daffodils and tulips, spring signals the start of the real estate season here in western North Carolina. Memorial Day is when the starting gun fires, but in the month or so leading up to that is when we start seeing the activity starting to shift. Based on what I’m reading and the drum beat I hear among my fellow Realtors, 2015 is going to be a good year.  Prices have stablilized, inventory is good, and mortgage rates are predicted to stay low.

This part of western North Carolina has seen a steady uptick for the last several years and it is still pretty much a buyer’s market. We have also seen more and more multiple offers on homes that are priced right and are good values which tells us that there is more competition among buyers.

So how did last month shape up? For home sales, March was a great month.  Sales were almost double what they were in March of 2014.  The bulk of sales occurred at $350,000 and under which is a trend that has not really changed in the last 3-5 years.  Here are some more fun facts for you.  In 2014 the average residential selling price was $229,240 at an average of 94.2% of the asking price.  This year, the average selling price was $227,494  and 95.7% of the asking price.  What this all means for buyers is that you may expect to be paying a little bit more as our recovery continues and you’ll likely pay closer to the asking price.  It’s always difficult to explain to some buyers that the Transylvania County market isn’t languishing and this is no longer 2008 but we let the numbers speak for themselves.

While this sounds like a lot of good news for sellers, it’s important to remember that there is still ample inventory and that the competition is still strong.   It’s just as important as ever that a home be priced for today’s market and that it be in the best repair for the price.

Land sales are still lagging behind.  March was no different.  There were only five sales last month and with the exception of one property, all sold for under $75,000.  For buyers who are looking for good deals…you are in luck!

If you would like the complete Transylvania County Market Update, sign up for our FREE monthly e-newsletter here….or contact me at Carol@ClayTeamRealEstate.com.